Buckeye State by Kristen Grainger & True North


There’s a wise saying that goes something along the lines of the strongest ones being the quietest. Now I have no idea if there’s an actual saying like that or not, but there should be, and this song would be a perfect example.

From Salem, Oregon comes this song of stark beauty. Buckeye State is Kristen Grainger retelling a tragic true story that ought to make you rethink your rights and wrongs. A story of an Ohio 10-year-old who became pregnant by her rapist, and because of the abortion laws in the state, she was not allowed to have one. The issue of abortion seems to attract a lot of unnecessary attention, with opinions falling anywhere all over the spectrum, from total rejection to the opposite, for all kinds of reasons; cultural religious, and else, and all with perfectly sincere intentions. But there’s nothing more stark than the story at hand. A gorgeous ballad composed solely of Grainger’s husky vocal delivery and a warm, strummed acoustic guitar. The chords are perfectly accommodating, and the guitar sounds warm and rich. Kristen’s performance is also sublime. Heartfelt and full of emotions and dynamics, the tone rises and falls with the ebb and flow of the aggression in the words. A true stunner. The story is also beautifully retold, with a subtle dash of poetry and wordplay that makes the story musically compelling on top of being lyrically touching.

Kristen Grainger & True North have struck a perfect balance with Buckeye State. A dazzling ballad with a serene sound, a soothing atmosphere, and a story that’s ought to make us all rethink the consequences that might follow our perfectly good intentions.